Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Favorites: Aperitivo - Banco del Vino

We started out this evening with two glasses of bubbly from France and these are the nibbles that were included with our drinks (salami, pancetta on crescenza, fresh tomatoes served with soft cheese atop pieces of bread) 
Aperitivo time may be my favorite time of day in Italy. It happens every evening between 7 and 9. People gather together at the bars after work to socialize and hang out. You have a glass of wine (lots of times something sparkly and light to start – like a Prosecco) and often times the bars will put out a spread of food (sometimes just chips and peanuts and other times mini sandwiches, sliced meats, cheese, or even sometimes pasta) which is included in the cost of your drink. The large student population here in Bologna loves it because they can do what is called apericena; they buy a glass of wine and return over and over to the abundant buffet of food (they all know which bars have the biggest buffets) and for the cost of one glass of wine they eat dinner. Everybody has their favorite place/places for aperitivo; one of my new favorites is Banco del Vino in Via Mentana 3.
The owner does a great job of carefully curating the wine list. By the glass, there is always a mix of Italian and French wines; a real treat because it can be hard to find non-Italian wines offered by the glass and it is fun to mix it up once in a while. There is always a nice mix between sparkling wine, whites, and reds. At this bar they will bring a little something to eat when you order a drink but I highly recommend ordering a tagliere in addition to whatever they bring. Tagliere means cutting board and you can order either a selection of cheeses or sliced meats which will come served, you guessed it, on a wooden board. I have tried both the meats and cheeses and they are both excellent. Everything is of a really highly quality and the selection changes frequently.
Our selection of cheeses this evening: soft squaquerone, pecorino from Maremma, a cheese from the Alps between Switzerland and Italy, and a cow's milk cheese aged 24 months 
This place is great for a girls’ night out but can be equally great for a date night. If you are looking for an aperitivo spot that is off the main stretch and that offers excellent quality food and a diverse wine list, I highly recommend checking out Banco del Vino.

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